Last week Marnie Stern announced that she’d setup a kissing both (with her as the kissed) at her two weekend shows with Gang Gang Dance in San Francisco and Los Angeles. (That’s what she was in training for, see?) The cost: $3 for a peck on the cheek, $10 for a kiss on the lips, and $100 if you wanted to go French. It turns out she did the booths to raise money to pay for a speeding ticket and other traffic violations. She’s brave. Of course, someone took her up on her offer. Though, according to this review of her San Francisco stint, it wasn’t as many as you might’ve guessed.
At the end of Marnie Stern’s set, a sizable group of people crowded around her side of the stage, declaring their love and asking for hugs. But to my dismay, I went out in the lobby later on and witnessed a similar group of people just, uh, standing around. And though the kissing offer was literally on the table, they were just, uh, awkwardly talking to Marnie Stern. And, um, buying a shirt, I guess. And, do you … think I could have another hug?
It was excruciating. Goddamn indie hipsters are a bunch of pansy-ass Holden Caulfields who can’t get over their own imagined degradation of giving a girl $10 for a kiss, I grumbled to myself. Whatever happened to all the fun in the world?!
But after about 10 minutes, a good sign walked into the room. To be precise: a tall mid-20s boy, with a slender face and large eyes. Lanky, plaid shirt. He approached the table and conspicuously pointed to the sign.
“Is the kissing booth open?” he asked.
Finally! Marnie Stern jumped up, pointed her arms in the air and let out a “whoo-hoo!” while doing a small, excited dance. A customer!
The boy pointed to the “lips” option, and handed a $10 bill to Stern, who was more than willing to deliver the goods. Boy, did he get his money’s worth…
I chased him down afterwards. “I had to,” he told me. “She’s beautiful, you know? It was awesome.” He was beaming from ear to ear.
It’s unclear if he was the only taker, but you can see more text and photos, including her sign and a hug, over at Bohemian. Did nobody drop a c-note?